Allergic conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the eyelid caused by an allergic reaction to substances like pollen or mold spores. When exposed to these allergens, your eyes may become red, itchy, and watery, as these are the most common symptoms.
Conjunctiva, the membrane inside of your eyelids that covers your eyeball, is susceptible to irritation from allergens, especially during hay fever season. The irritation of allergens is what directly causes the condition to happen.
What are the Different Types of Allergic Conjunctivitis?
There are two main types of this condition, and are wildly different to each other:
Acute is a short-term condition that is more common during allergy season. Your eyelids suddenly swell, itch, and burn. You may also have a watery nose as another symptom of acute conjunctivitis.
Chronic conjunctivitis is less common and can occur year-round. Like food, dust, and animal dander, it’s a milder response to allergens. Itchy eyes and being sensitive to light are common symptoms of chronic conjunctivitis.
What Causes Allergic Conjunctivitis?
This condition is experienced when the body tries to defend itself from a threat, such as mold spores and animal dander, histamine, a potent chemical, is produced to fight off foreign invaders.
How is Allergic Conjunctivitis diagnosed?
The tests used to diagnose allergic conjunctivitis include:
- Allergy skin test– exposes your skin, allowing your doctor to examine your body’s reactions to specific allergens.
- Blood test- if your doctor wants to know if your body is producing proteins or antibodies to protect itself from allergens, this test is recommended.
- Eosinophils are white blood cells that become activated when you have allergies. A scraping of your conjunctival tissue may be in order to examine your white blood cells.
How is Allergic Conjunctivitis treated?
This condition can be treated with medications, which may include anti-inflammatory eye drops and the over-the-counter antihistamine.